Wizard of Legend
Review Context: : I like the hack and slash genre dating back to Gauntlet at the arcades. I always found it fun to take down enemies as a different type of hero, while exploring dungeons and finding treasure and items. My current favorite game of the genre is Bayonetta 2, but there are games similar to this game I like as well, such as Muramasa: The Demon Blade. I was looking forward to jumping back into a game that gives me flashbacks of my first experience.
Date of Playthrough: May 3, 2018
PC Specs Game Played on:
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit
Processor: Quad Core Intel i3-4025 @ 1.90 GHz
RAM: 4 GB
Video Card: Intel HD Graphics Family
Disclosure: This review was based off of a review copy.
The visuals go for an 8-bit style, while including elements that couldn’t be done on an 8-bit console. The game runs at 60 fps, while the background environment looks 16-bit. I liked the merging of different art bit styles (Adventures of Pip). While my backup PC isn’t the best for gaming, it played the game with no issues, other than the occasional screen tearing. It only happened when I walked to the next frame, but I’m sure that’s my PC end, since gaming wasn’t its main purpose. The artwork for the title screen is nothing short of amazing.
With a game this hectic in combat, I am thankful this game supports Gamepad controllers. The gameplay fits well with the combat, and tight controls make it to where you are at fault for dying and not the controls. Equipping your weapons and spells reminds me of the customization of The Legend of Zelda games, with the item being that button of your choosing. If you prefer the keyboard/mouse combo, in my time using this scheme it worked well with the mouse being used for aiming your attacks, if you have it setup this way.
The story for Wizard of Legend has you going to the museum of wizards. If you decided to talk to the citizens, they’ll give you a small glimpse of the world you’re in. You find out the museum contains artifacts, information, and more, with different classes of heroes. You enter the testing rooms and this is where the fun begins. The action is fast-paced but strategic. When you have multiple enemies appear, you can’t just ‘hack and slash’ like other games. If you do, you’ll die a lot, which I can say with honesty. Some enemies take small hits, while others require you to think on your feet while attacking and using magic sparingly.
Your main sword can be used, but magic has a cooldown period. I like the combat because of the fact you have to think twice before attacking. I found myself defeating one dungeon with low health that required me to hide behind walls and attack from behind. Once you passed the test, you are transported to a house, which looks something from Disney’s take on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with household items alive and talking to you about your impending quest. There you can change out weapons, spells, and your attire.
Earlier I mentioned spells, but what makes Wizard of Legend stand out is the amount of customization you can do with the Arcana (spells). You can mix and match different types (water, fire, ice) and make them your offense and defensive moves. For example, I would use my fireball spell, while using ice Arcana with my water defense to lower enemies’ health that use fire attacks. Since my fire and ice attacks need to be cooled down, I’m usually dodging attacks, making quick hits with my sword, until my magic is recharged. That was my way of playing until the level design switched it up on me and I had to rethink my items, which you can change on the fly in the weapons menu. But be warned, it is not your safe space as the gameplay is still going on.
How does one collect spell cards? After some battles I’ve encountered with the boss they would drop helpful items, but most are available at the shops. If you spend time exploring the levels instead of going head first into battle you may encounter some spell cards, while saving coins since the items are costly. None of that matters when you’re hoping to find some health after the endless hordes of monsters attacking you. Relics work the same as well, as they help you with the Arcana to create powerful attacks. My favorite weapon in Wizard of Legend are the minions (Not those from that movie). They help you with attacking enemies, which come in handy for big battles. The catch is that you must be of close proximity of the enemy to take effect.
Combat starts off slow by having a few enemies on screen, but then from out of nowhere, more appear to where attacking one enemy will easily leave you wide open for others to attack you from behind by projectile weapons, such as those darn arrows. When you reach the end of the level by fighting off multiple bosses at once it can feel intimidating, but once you relax, dodge, and use your Arcana, you’ll be cheering for joy, for a moment. Because of this, I went from attacking head on to being more thoughtful with my attacks. Something I never would have thought is having a hack and slash game that makes me think ahead instead of going for high combos, which you can do once you obtain more powerful weapons and spells.
One gameplay design that took me by surprise is the level layout. While you are exploring the dungeon there is a mini map and a percentage of how much you explored. There will be moments when you come up on merc stores to restore health or buy items. Once you defeat the dungeon, you’ll discover that you have to beat a certain number of dungeons in a row. Once you die, you have to start back from the first dungeon level. When this happened to me I shook it off and started again with an idea of what to do. To my surprise, my idea to beat the level was gone when the level was different from my previous encounter. In short, the levels (dungeons) are random, which surprised and excited me, as it feels like you know the game’s pattern, only to have the game say “Nope!” and flip the script. One moment you’re exploring a normal dungeon, but if you perish and try again, the dungeon now has an icy design making you switch your magic to fire spells. Collecting all the different types of Arcana is a must so you can prepare yourself for the consent changing climate.
With all the chaos going on, you won’t have to experience this alone, as Wizard of Legend supports local two player action so you can enjoy the campaign with an ally. If you and your alley don’t see eye-to-eye, you can settle your differences in versus mode. There it’s a one-on-one fight on random levels with spells laid out. Watching out for level elements, the winner is the last one standing.
From Wizard of Legend’s title screen, you are treated to an awesome soundtrack that fits the tone of the mystical world, while the sound effects mix the charm of a 16-bit adventure game with added elements of modern sound. Sadly, you’ll be too busy staying alive to appreciate the soundtrack, unless you’re in a village part of the level where you can relax and buy items.
Similar Games Liked:
Golden Axe (GEN)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)